RYAN Clampin will feel like a 'new signing' after returning from injury, says Colchester United boss Wayne Brown.

Clampin has returned for pre-season training with the rest of the U's squad, having had to spend much of the previous campaign on the sidelines.

The 23-year-old missed a large chunk of the 2021-22 season after suffering a serious knee injury in an FA Cup first-round tie at AFC Sudbury, last November.

However, the attacking left-back - who has made nearly 50 appearances for the U's since making his senior debut for them in September, 2018 - has reported back for duty with the rest of the U's squad and head coach Brown is glad to see him back out on the grass.

Brown said: "It's been really good to see Clamps back with a pair of boots on and running around with the rest of the lads.

"It's been a little bit like a new signing if you like.

"We've got to tread carefully with him because of the injury that he had.

"But it was good to get him back in amongst the squad."


Putting the work in - Colchester United striker Freddie Sears takes part in pre-season training drills last summer Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL

Colchester are preparing for their first pre-season friendly, this weekend.

The U's travel to play Reading at the Championship club's training ground, in a behind-closed-doors match.

Colchester will also take on the likes of Millwall, Southend United, Ebbsfleet United and Maldon and Tiptree, as part of their preparations for the new League Two season.

Brown said: "We've tried to plan a pre-season where it's going to be demanding and challenging.

"Hopefully, it's going to be beneficial for us and give us the best chance of starting the season well, which is obviously what these next few weeks are all to do with.

"It's all about gearing up for the first game of the season.

"We need to use the training days, the rest days and the fixtures to prepare ourselves the best way that we can, to start the season well.

"Considering how late we actually put the pre-season together schedule and friendlies together, it was really problematic.

"You have the non-league clubs starting later than we are - that meant a couple of teams weren't back and also that their pitches won't be ready, because their season doesn't start until one or two weeks later than ours.

"So it was quite difficult to get pitches and availability to play at their place."